The Best Local Islands for Budget Family Holiday in the Maldives


Maldives On a Budget

The Best Local Islands for Budget Family Holiday in the Maldives

Maldives On a Budget


August, 2020

Traditionally popular with honeymooners, Maldives is also a favourite destination with families looking for a taste of paradise. Clear blue waters with white sand beaches, fantastic underwater world, world-class family accomodation and activities these are just a few of the reasons that the Maldives draws on the families from all over the world. These friendly islands welcome children with open arms and caters for all ages from tots to teens. From daily activities programs and kids clubs to water sports and adventure trips.

Today, the one of the most exotic islands on the planet are reopening and in addition, not only for luxury family vacations but also for those on a budget. Accommodating in guest houses in local islands is very common form of hospitality in the Maldives. Budget lodging on local islands ranges from cheap guest houses to a modern hotels with beachfront location, many of which boasts swimming pools, spa, family rooms with seaview and free wi-fi. Outdoor family activity is a fun-filled experiences for everyone! From daily excursions to water sports and adventure trips at reasonable prices.

We found best budget islands in the Maldives that cater to families with children or groups of friends. Find out why these local islands in the Maldives are most popular with families of all ages.

1 Maafushi, South Male Atoll

Maafushi - South Male Atoll
Booking.com

Best Experience: short boat ride from Male, a great accommodation options on offer, an amazing choice of excursions, f&b outlets, and a fun diving trips

Best Hotels to Stay with Kids: Kaani Grand Seaview, Arena Beach Hotel, Kaani Palm Beach, Kaani Beach Hotel, Crystal Sands

Whether you decide to relax on the beaches or choose to participate in more adventurous way for whole family this island is ideal value for money just 35 minutes by speedboat from Male airport. Maafushi is all about a sunny beach getaway surrounded by coconut palm trees with sea view rooms. The best family friendly hotels in Maafushi all have several things in common - prime location, superior facilities and top-quality service. As for food: the island has a huge selection of cafes and restaurants that cater international palate, including children's favorite pizzas and hamburgers.

The natural beauty of the South Male atoll is second to none and provides a great choice of tours and activities to vacationers: it seems that there is always something to see or do in Maafushi. There are variety of entertainments for children of any age all around the island. You have the opportunity to do many activities similar to any luxury resort for a budget price in this Hotel including Excursions such as Fishing Trips, Snorkeling Trips, Visit to Sand banks, Trips to Picnic Islands, Dolphin watching and Water sports. Good news for parents: a floating bar is available 2 minutes away from the beach with free transfer. Read Full Review...

2 Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll

fine beach in Ukulhas
Booking.com

Best Experience: cheap Maldives holiday experience, couples, families with kids, beaches, honeymooners, house reef snorkeling, diving, big game fishing

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels: West Sands, Paguro Beach Inn, The Ranthari Hotel & Spa, SeaLaVie Inn, Gunbaru Inn

Ukulhas island is some of the loveliest in the Maldives. Just a 60-minute speedboat jorney from Male, this picture postcard island offer the ultimate tropical getaway. Featuring gorgeous tropical beaches and vivid turquoise waters teeming with colourful marine life, the Island is paradise perfected. Suitable for families and couples, Ukulhas welcomes for budget tourism with a wide choice of guest houses and mini-hotels. There are a children's playground, a modern hospital, school, football field, Body Work Gym, cafes and shops on the island, and clean white beaches are safe for children to swim and play.

Known for good ecology, cleanliness and high marine biodiversity, today, an inexpensive holiday on Ukulhas is one of the best ways to discover the sun, sand and sea of the Maldives without breaking the bank! Staying allows you to dive into the local fishing community and get experience of auyhentic Maldives. Read Full Review...

3 Dhigurah, South Ari Atoll

Dhigurah - South Ari Atoll
Booking.com

Best Experience: beaches, families, couples, swimming with whale sharks, snorkeling, diving

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels: Dhiguveli Maldives, Bliss Dhigurah, Ithaa Dhigurah, Athiri Beach Maldives

One of the most beautiful islands in the Maldives, Dhigurah boasts longest sandy beaches in the island country and oceans frequented by whale sharks all year round. Likewise, turtles and manta rays are no strangers to the island's shores. Welcomed families, couples and solo travelers from all over the world, Dhigurah is a great child-friendly hotels, aqua adventures to remember, delicious food to look forward to and service with a smile. Moreover, the locals offer PADI scuba diving courses/dives, whale shark- and manta ray snorkel trips, fishing, a bikini beach, sandbank trips and much more. There are two schools and a medical centre on the island and a kids will love to explore the island by bike. Read Full Review...

4 Thoddoo, North Ari Atoll

Thoddoo - North Ari Atoll
Booking.com

Best Experience: A fabulous beaches, authentic Maldivian experience holiday, for family, for couples, snorkeling, diving, fishing

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels: THILA FARM VIEW, Coco Villa, Holiday Cottage Thoddoo, Amazing View Guest House

Located in 1 hour 15 minutes by speed boat from the capital island Male, Thoddoo is one of the populated islands of North Ari atoll and a good budget option for the family experience in the Maldives. With over 30 guest houses and hotels and surrounded by warm turquoise waters and pristine sea life, the beautiful island offers unlimited options for snorkel, diving, water sports and cheap excursions, including island hopping and a picnic on a sand bank. Thoddoo is known for an abundance of agriculture and is famous for it’s watermelon harvests, while most of the locals also make a living out of fishing.

Explore the picturesquely green plantations of watermelons, papaya, banana, rows and rows of coconut palms towering over your heads everywhere you go and the different kinds of leafy greens, cucumbers, pumpkins and enormous breadfruit trees. Rent a bicycle and ride around to explore the streets, the mosques, local shops and school or just walk barefoot by the Bikini Beach and have a rest on of the many hammocks and beach beds provided for you, under the swaying palm leaves and the soothing sounds of waves crashing right beneath your feet. The kids love to play football every evening at the pitch or compete against each other at a friendly game of volleyball. You’re more than welcome to join in. Read Full Review...

5 Gulhi, South Male atoll

Gulhi, South Male atoll
Booking.com

Best Experience: budget trip, couples, beaches, house reef snorkeling, diving

Best Places to Stay with children: Gurus Maldives, Gulhi Inn, Sandy Heaven Maldives, String Wave Maldives

Gulhi is the closest local island to Malé airport in South Male atoll. On the way to Maafushi, Gulhi Island is 30-minutes by speedboat from the capital of the Maldives. The tiny island is really beautiful and Gulhi offers everything you need to have a wonderful stay on Maledives. Think about a blue skies, awesome white beaches and specailly the crystal clear waters with abundant marine life. With a handful of guest houses on the island, K.Gulhi is of the beaten track, unique and authentic and and this is one of the best budget options to explore and experience the true Maldives. Just visit there for your family vacation - your children will find it really fun.

Gulhi is a small fishing village. You can walk around it in 15 minutes and see all the highlights - the jetty, the powerhouse, the school, the bashiball playground, the mosque, dive shop, 3 minimarts, four cafes and a some souvenir shops. The locals are friendly by nature and welcome visitors to their charming island. A stay in Gulhi island surely will fascinate visitors and provide a truly cultural Maldivian holiday experience. There are two bikini beaches on the island, south and north. The north sands are incredibly stunning where you can lounge all day under a parasol shade, go swimming and house reef snorkeling, and have a food or drink at the beach restaurant! Read Full Review...

6 Dhiffushi, North Male Atoll

Feridhoo's beaches
Booking.com

Best Experience: budget trip, couples, beaches, house reef snorkeling, diving

Best guest houses to stay with kids: Bibee Maldives, Club Kaafu Dhiffushi, Infinity Dhiffushi, Rashu Hiyaa , Crown Beach Hotel Maldives

Dhiffushi boasts clean private beach, crystal clear turquoise lagoon and friendly people. The inhabited island is ideal place to go for those who looking for the balance of local Maldivian lifestyle in contemporary setting with spectacular surroundings of Kaafu atoll. A great option for budget vacation in the Maldives, Dhiffushi is a 40-minute speedboat ride from the main Male International Airport (VIA). The island is one of the most authentic fishing village in Maldives and if you want a real Maldivian experience, then you should definitely go there!

There are a dive & water sports centers, hospital, mosque, restaurants, coffee bars, shops, fishing vessels,guesthouses and entertainment facilities on the island. Soccer is one of the favorite sports. Traditionally Dhiffushi is island of Entertainment with local music bands and entertainment clubs. Dhiffushi has one of the beautiful crystal clear beaches featuring white sandy beach with clear shallow lagoon, ideal for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling and diving. This island has few famous dive and surf points with in the vicinity. There are also sand banks, resorts and uninhabited island nearby. Read Full Review...

7  Hangnaameedhoo, North Ari Atoll

Sun Island Resort and Spa
Booking.com

Best Experience:  couples, activities, diving, house reef snorkeling, island hopping

Best guest houses family vacation: BY THE SHADE, Two Star Meedhoo Maldives, Local Island Inn

Hangnaameedhoo is one of the inhabited islands of Ari Atoll (Alif Dhaal Atoll) for a great budget holiday in the Maldives. Swimming in crystal clear waters, house reef snorkeling, fun diving and relaxing on the private beach is the stuff that Hangnaameedhoo is made on. Finding just a little more than an hour by speedboat from Male, the idyllic island blessed with its pristine white sandy beaches and vibrant, untouched coral reefs, and thanks to the cheap accommodation, an attentive staff, great food and exciting water adventures you'll get the ultimate Maldives island holiday experience but, happily, without the prices of luxury resorts.

Located in the channel, Haangnamedhoo island has an incredible house reef that's teems with abundant marine life and where you can do the snorkeling at anytime. An easily accessible, the house reef is excellent for snorkeling with a large shallow lagoon with lots of coral fish nurseries. The drop off is not far from the beach and you can spot black and white tipped reef sharks, rays, giant moray eels and turtles every day as well a octopuses, eagle rays, lionfish, barracuda and if you lucky a stonefish and a pelagic species. READ MORE 

8 Dharavandhoo, Baa Atoll

SeaLaVie Inn - Ukulhas
Booking.com

Best Experience:  cheap, family, couples, snorkeling with Mantas, diving

Best hotels to stay with kids: Kiha Beach, Hanifaru Transit Inn, LVIS blancura Hotel

The affordable beach experience in Dharavandhoo Island will surpass all your expectations; the main theme in this part of the Maldives is not to miss the spectacular water adventures, where each excursion will be filled with new vivid impressions. Result? An unforgettable journey and memories that will remain with you forever. Easily accessible by domestic flight from Malé Airport, the beautiful Dharavandhoo is located in the heart of UNESCO's only marine biosphere reserve in the Maldives and is ideal for everything that Maldives has to offer.

Dharavandhoo's house reef can't boast superb underwater scenery, but the main highlight - Snorkeling with Manta Rays - lies 5 minutes by boat away from the island. Despite the small size, Hanifaru Bay has become one of the best places for snorkeling with manta rays and whale sharks in the world, and regularly draws professionals underwater photos and videos.. In the season, you can count up to 200 giant animals hovering over coral reefs, as well as many whale sharks here. Guest houses in Dharavandhoo organize snorkeling exursions to Hanifaru Bay, that is the world's largest feeding station for Mantas. Prices: from $ 60 / person. Snorkling tours to other sites $ 60 / per boat. (full day)  Read Full Review...

9 Fulidhoo, Vaavu atoll

Fulidhoo, Vaavu atoll
Booking.com

Best Experience: Close to Male, beaches, couples, families, diving, fishing, water adventures

Best family friendly hotels: Thundi Guest House, Island Break, Luau Beach Inn, Seena Inn

A very special place, Fulidhoo is one of the inhabited islands of the Vaavu Atoll in the Maldives. In recent years, Fulidhoo has seen an inflow of tourists in search of its Maldivian, budget paradise, with an inexpensive accommodation, beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters and a rich marine life, all those components behind which people fly half the world to get real Maldives experience and say with confidence : "Liked everything!". The island is also famous for the "Langiri" events - a traditional dance with drums and tambourines, which is a cultural landmark of the island.

Perfect for relaxing on the cheap, the main bikini beach is really gorgeous and impressive at a glance. Fulidhoo has two tourist beaches that are on the western (sunset beach) and eastern tips of the island and are beautiful places, with fine sand and clear warm water. There are shady places and a few comfortable sun beds on the beach. On these beaches you can chill out, sunbathe and swim. Read Full Review...

10 Kelaa, Haa Alifu Atoll

Kelaa - Haa Alifu Atoll
Booking.com

Best Experience: Couples, family vacation, beaches, activities

Best places to stay with children: Holiday Home Kelaa, Beach Home Kelaa

Famous for the most beautiful beaches, Kelaa Island is a inhabited island in the Haa Alifu atoll in the Maldives. Opening for budget tourism in 2015, Kelaa is the authentic experience of the Maldives with a handful of guest houses on the island, white beaches, a beautiful lagoon and an impressive sea life. Whether it's a solo trip, a honeymoon or a family vacation, everyone will find here their own piece of paradise. The locals are very hospitable and sympathetic people, and they do everything for the unforgettable experience of their guests on Kelaa, and many who have visited here plan to return to the island again.

Oriented strictly from north to south, the juicy-green island boasts one of the longest beaches in the country - 2.5 kilometers of white-powder, deep and fine sands. The total length of Kelaa beaches is 7.5 kilometers. There are no breakwaters or walls in the lagoon - the architecture of the beach is led by nature itself. In short, you will easily find your place under the sun. Read Full Review...

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